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Space Science

15-Year-Old Student Discovers New Pulsar 103

For the second time in as many years, a student has made a discovery while participating in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), a joint program between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and West Virginia University designed to get students and teachers involved in analyzing data from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). This time it was high school sophomore Shay Bloxton, who discovered a brand new pulsar. "For Bloxton, the pulsar discovery may be only her first in a scientific career. 'Participating in the PSC has definitely encouraged me to pursue my dream of being an astrophysicist,' she said, adding that she hopes to attend West Virginia University to study astrophysics. Late last year, another West Virginia student, from South Harrison High School, Lucas Bolyard, discovered a pulsar-like object called a rotating radio transient. His discovery also came through participation in the PSC."
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15-Year-Old Student Discovers New Pulsar

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  • HS is when it starts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ghostlibrary ( 450718 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @06:16PM (#30864378) Homepage Journal

    I interviewed 4 random astronomers at an AAS meeting to ask 'why did you become an astronomer', and the answer was either "saw cool space stuff as a kid and was inspired" or "got to learn a bit of astronomy in high school and loved it". So she's right at the age for deciding. Unlike most majors, I think most astronomers choose their path early. (In February the podcast will be up at "365 Days of Astronomy", btw).

    http://projectcalliope.com/ [projectcalliope.com] "Music from Space"

  • by CeilingofStars ( 1728228 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @04:29PM (#30872240) Homepage
    You say you're a sexist pig, but do you understand WHY comments like this are not okay?

    #1. She is a child. I shouldn't even have to say that.
    #2. How somebody looks has nothing to do with their intelligence or capability. It's incredible that you say there's "nothing wrong in pointing out attractive women scientists to girls" when, in fact, there is everything wrong with it. 'Attractive' is almost exclusively a measure of how much effort a woman puts into modifying her physical appearance in order to make herself sexually inviting to men. I don't have a problem with this; what I have a problem with is men telling women (and girls!) that they have a responsibility to be attractive in order to be acceptable.
    #3. Women shy away from male-dominated fields such as science, technology, and video games because men don't know how to act normally about them. If you read an article about a 15-year-old boy with glasses and plain hair, you would never make a comment that "he has so much going for him, if only he'd ditch the glasses and do something with his hair... ." If someone felt that the appropriate response to my scientific discovery was a comment about my physical attractiveness, I might just give up my scientific endeavors entirely, especially if I was a young teenager dealing with all the insecurity that comes along with that.

    Something to think about.

    Also, please stop acting like a sexist pig. Thank you.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson